Friday, May 8, 2009



Hi Antonio,
I love all of your blogs. When planning my next trip to NY, I would love an appointment. For now, my hair is dark brown and the gray is coming in fast. I am having to touch up every 3 to 4 weeks. My natural color is between a 4 and 5. Recently for lack of trying I have been covering gray with 4NN. For summer, I would love a beautiful chocolate formula that has depth to it. I recognize without seeing my natural color, this is not the perfect situation, but imagine 4NN all over and you've got it. Again, thank you. I know you are terribly busy so any help is SOOOOO appreciated!!!


Thank you for visiting the blog and for your compliments! It’s my pleasure :) I too think that you should be a Chocolate brown for the summer and here's are three ways to get you there.


4NN is dark child!!

So let’s move you gradually to a lighter color like 5NN and 20 volume peroxide.

You will still get the gray coverage because of the NN (more pigment) and you will be one shade lighter. I know this does not sound like a lot lighter but this is a subtle approach.

Their are several ways to approach this situation. The first is allowing the hair to fade and continue having root touch ups and no color on the ends, this will allow you to have the lighter color you are dreaming of in the healthiest way. It may take a little longer though.

The next time you have your color done, have them apply the color on the roots and always leave the hairline for last. The color that is mixed for the hairline will be a little lighter than the color of the rest of the root area. The hair on the hairline is fine and grabs color faster than the rest of the hair, that's why we see some brunettes with a beautiful hair color but the hair line is sometimes super dark. So make the request, you would be so happy with the change.


Now listen carefully! When we say the root I mean the new growth and nothing else. The slightest over lapping of the color on the previously colored hair is a recipe for a disaster. You will be surprised how much of a difference it makes to have your color applied properly. So if you're using 5NN for the root area apply then mix 1/2 5NN and a 1/2 6NN for the hairline with 20 volume. Allow to process for the full time.


Just before washing the color off have the stylist apply handfuls of conditioner to the dry ends of your hair. This will protect the ends of your hair when rinsing by not making it too dark from the root color. No matter how fast they think they can rinse the color it is never fast enough to avoid the ends getting too dark. Then continue the same process till you can see the ends fading enough.


Have the root color done with the same formula as above. While this is processing paint highlights thought your hair to help counteract the darkness on the ends with lightener and 20 volume. We don't want it too light just about 2 shades lighter. Again put conditioner on the ends even over the highlights , wash and towel dry well. To glaze the ends I would use a level 6.0 or 6N demi-permanent color to bring it all together. Most demi-permanent color always grab a little richer (darker) so the level
is safe.


I would color the roots with 5NN then apply conditioner on the ends before rinsing. Follow by a clear demi;permanent color. There are many demi-permanent color lines. Depending on what demi-permanent color line they use, I would use a clear with 20 volume under heat for 15 minutes. This will allow the dark ends to release some of the color. Some of my clear demi-permanent favorites are Clear by Dia Color Loreal,

0 by color wear

and 0,00 by Color Touch.

After rinsing, towel dry and get ready for the final step. Follow by using a level 6 demi-permanent color from roots to ends for 15 minutes. The reason you will use the level 6.0 as the final step is because when you use the clear with heat It may lift a little warm(red), using the 6.0 brings it all together nicely.

I hope this was helpful, please feel free to print it and take it to your hair dresser. He or she will understand it really well.

I wish you great hair,



Ofelia said...

Hi Antonio,
I decided to do my own hair color at home due to economics. My hairstylist was kind enough to give me my formula. I've colored it twice but it doesn't look right, has a reddish tinge to it. I have natural dark brown hair, I color it to cover the gray.
Here is the formula:
Brand/Goldwell Colorance
50ml. of 20 volume developer
25ml. or 5N
10ml. of 7G
15ml. of 4G
Products sent to me by my hairstylist niece:
Intensive Developer Lotion/Demi-Color (this is clear)
Topchic developer lotion 6% 20 vol.
Demi Color 7G, 4G 5N and clear.
Please help me make sense of how to mix, also when can I use the clear, is this actually the glaze I asked for. Lastly am I always supposed to use the intensive developer lotion???
Thank you so much!

antonio gonzales said...

Ofelia darling, thank you so much for writing. let's get down to business here! With that formula you will only get 1 result,that's a dark brown with a reddish tinge.. I think a mistake was made along the line. How much Grey do you have? If you have a few or even 30-40% your formula (especially the 4G & 7G) has too much gold. G means gold and with the 5N which has warmth as well its only making a warm situation even warmer (reddish) The formula should be 30ml 5N and 20 ml 5A (ash).

When you apply this on your roots not only will it give you gray coverage it will avoid that reddish tone that you are getting with the previous formula.

What are the ends like now? Are they too dark? Yes you can use the Topchic developer lotion 6% 20 vol but get the Topchic color as well. Not the demi-color. You can use demi in some cases but lets keep it simple.

Answer my questions and lets keep chatting.


Anonymous said...

Hi Antonio,

I'm so excited about your "blog" ...just happen to stumble on it while reading about Goldwell and coloring etc...
So I'm hoping you can help me with my dilemma....i too like the last post have had to cut back due to our economy and well....the fact that i'm unemployed even a bigger reason to "do it yourself" hair coloring at home...(which is where my trouble started )
I got desperate and really needed a change so i grabbed some store products and colored it myself and the results were far from "fabulous" to put it lightly...later, a friend/stylist applied a toner to rid of my very brassy hair color. Needless to say...i should've left it brassy... at least then, it still had a slight shine and even looked somewhat healthier (compared to the PRESENT!! THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTIONS APPLY: DRY & DAMAGED, BRITTLE, JUST PLAIN UNHEALTHY TO PUT IT BLUNTLY. Although grateful to the friend, my guess ...too much processing too soon is too blame for current results....
I'm determined to have my champagne taste( or "look" in this case) with my beer budget $$
Reading your blog has really inspired me and I know with the right guidance & advice, I'll be okay so please, please help me to re-do my hair d0..
My choice is Goldwell and I'm somewhat familiar with the line since my stylist used to use it to do my highlights.... (fab color & healthy results )
From reading and researching & what I should be able to do at home, my choices are :
Elumen High-Performance Haircolor (since its a demicolor and sounds suitable for my damaged hair...)
Colorance Demi Color Acid Semi-Permanent Hair Color Coloration(same reasons)
and finally,
Topchic...(although i'm not sure about this one considering it is a permanent vs demi.,)
also the first two really got my attention due to no ammonia etc...
So having said that,which one do you recommend for my hair?
Its been at least 12 weeks since the last "fiasco" and my new growth is really showing like and an inch or so.....really looks bad...
Currently its like gold and dark brown undertones not a bad color...just looks bad///since its so DRY!
Results I'm trying to achieve......would love a rich reddish auburn or rich rich brwn and redsh clr
but i dont mind enhancing my color currently...just whatever w/ least amt of addtl damage
Any advice??? Remember..i'm a newbie so i have no clue on measurements (color vs dvlpr...etc...)
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for all your help in saving my hair....

ps...anyway to send you a pic for current color?

thx a million!!!
Truly a life saver....

Kathleen said...

I'm hoping you can help answer a question for me. I went to a salon yesterday to get my hair colored. I asked for semi permanent color level 5 which is what my hairdresser at home told me to ask for when traveling overseas. I am in Ireland. The woman argued with me about using semi perm color on my hair saying I had too much grey. I told her this is what I use at home and it works fine for me - I have curly reddish brown hair so the semi works great with the curls and the highlights - just blends the grey. When they put the color on my hair it smelled really strong like ammonia and didn't look like the semi permanent used at home. I asked if it was definitely semi perm and they said yes. I'm used to having to sit with a bag on my head under a heat lamp - none of this was done. I asked again about the color and was told I needed to trust them. When they finished my grey was completely colored and the rest of my hair seems pretty monotone to me. My question is did they use semi perm or permanent color on my hair? I'm wondering if semi perm is done differently here. I'm almost 95% certain they used permanent color, but want a professional opinion. I'm very upset about this. I miss my shiny highlighted hair.

antonio said...

Anonymous :)
Thanks for writing and I loo forward to helping you. Yes tou can send images, please send to and I will do all i can!


Antonio said...

Kathleen, I am so sorry to report that I also feel that they used Permanent color :( The smell alone is a give away and the fact that its a bit monotone. This is really sad that a salon would think of money first rather than addressing their ignorance. If I can help in any way please feel free to contact me.


Anonymous said...


My mothers hair was a 6inn at first then some weird mixture was formulated and she's close to 5nn with caramel highlight. How would she go back to a 6nn? Could we do 6nn with 30 volume?

Anonymous said...


I am indian and have naturally dark brown almost black hair. I have a large amount of gray hair but not quite yet half my head. My hairdresser uses 4NN and 4G on my hair but I am unaware of the formulation. I would like to mix and apply myself to save money. I tried putting half of each colour mixed with 20vol/6% developer and the colour did not appear to look the same "goldish" colour on my head when my hairdresser applies it. I then tried 1/3 4NN and 2/3 4G and the colour of the mix when applied looks more correct but my hair colour is still starting to have a slightly reddish effect but it is fairly close. Any ideas on how I should be mixing to get the rich dark brown almost black look again?

antonio gonzales said...

Indian hair is beautiful especially when it has soft gold tones. I am sorry for not responding sooner.

Its hard to say, the formulation you used sounds right. Are you applying it on the roots only or roots through the ends?

You may want to use Three quarter 4N and quarter 4G on the roots only with 20 volume for 30 mins. After the 30 mins apply half 4NN with half 4G and 30 volume through the ends for 15 mins.

Its hard to say because I cant see your hair and exactly what shade it is. Feel free to send an image to

Thanks for writing


Anonymous said...

I have Dark Brown hair and I want to go a bit lighter. The color I use right now is 4NN and 5A and 20 Vol.. I just want to go about a shade lighter. To a very nice dark brown not the black brown I have now. Help. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hello Antonio !
I am Chinese , my base color is dark brown hair. I have few grey hair. Had tried multiple difference hue of color on my hair but still can't get it right. When I am under the sun, my whole head look red. Under natural light, my hair look medium brown with copper tone. I have had joico 5b, goldwell 7kb, 6bk on my hair. My skin tone is yellow. Do u think I can use 5A and 5n in goldwell? I would like nice lighter shade of warm brown. Pls. Advice.

Jhuna Rani Kafley said...

Hi! Antonio,
I have decided to color my hair at home with Goldwell color. I am from Nepal and I have dark brown hair. I colored my hair blonde 8 months ago and since then I have not been able to go back to salon coz of my financial situation. So, could you please tell me what is right amount of using what color to go a little darker than what I am right now. I can even post a picture for you.
I will be very grateful to get your help.
Thank you so much.

Jhuna Rani Kafley said...

Hi! Antonio,
I have decided to color my hair at home with Goldwell color. I am from Nepal and I have dark brown hair. I colored my hair blonde 8 months ago and since then I have not been able to go back to salon coz of my financial situation. So, could you please tell me what is right amount of using what color to go a little darker than what I am right now. I can even post a picture for you.
I will be very grateful to get your help.
Thank you so much.

Antonio Gonzales said...

Hi Jhuna can you write me at thanks!!!

RobertClark said...

I should use this serum so that my hair would grow back healthy. Great review!

Stephanie Power said...

I am currently trying to colour my own hair with Goldwell Elumen and Goldwell Topchic. I just moved to Toronto and my previous hairdresser gave me instructions to dye my own hair.. but my roots keep turning out way darker than the rest of my hair.
For all over colour (minus the regrowth area) I mixed Goldwell Elumen RR with BR@6. This worked perfectly. For the roots I mixed Topchic Developer 6% 20 vol. with Topchic 5RR. I think I did half Topchic colour and half Topchic developer.. but my roots are still a dark brown meanwhile the rest of my hair turned out just as good as when I get it done professionally. I am wondering if I maybe didn't use enough of the topchic lotion (I think I used half but I just eyeballed it), or if there's something I'm doing wrong!


Stephanie Power said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose said...

Hello Antonio, I stumbled across this blog and am amazed to find someone so helpful! Like others, I am trying to save money by coloring at home. I am 53, with lots of gray, and currently use topchic 5NN with 30% developer (very close to my natural hair color). I'd like to go a bit lighter (which is recommended as we get older). I like caramel and richer shades. Ideally I'd like a summer color and a winter color. Do you have any ideas?
Thank you, Rose

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